Christmas is my favorite time of year and I have been searching for a way to keep it that way, even in the midst of our pain. I found this wonderful idea from another mom whose little boy is in Heaven and was really inspired to do the same thing she did the first Christmas without her baby. The following is a letter I have sent to facebook friends, and will send to family in Chirstmas cards and email to other friends. Please read, and if you feel so inspired, participate. I know a lot of you are remembering your angels this Christmas, so feel free to do the same in memory of your precious child.
First, let me thank you all for your love, support and prayers over the past year. Thank you for sharing in the excitement of our pregnancy and in the sorrow of our loss. We know each one of you felt our pain during the loss of Shyla. We celebrate her life and, like a stone tossed into a pond, are now seeing some of the far reaching ripples of the donations made in her name to the Pregnancy HELP Center.
As the holidays are approaching, we are excited to spend time with family and friends and watching the excitement in Ethan’s eyes just overwhelms our hearts sometimes. But, we still feel the need to remember our daughter this Christmas. We have a little pink stocking, but really don't want to see it hang empty, so we have decided to enlist all of you to help us.
All that we ask is that sometime between now and Christmas, do something nice for someone, no matter how small or large. It doesn't have to involve money--just commit a random act of kindness. When you do it, think of Shyla and dedicate that act her. You can even leave a note saying, “This random act of kindness was done in memory of Shyla Joy", but you don’t have to. Please write down your act of kindness and send it to me through e-mail (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and put “Shyla’s Stocking” in the subject line or slip a note into your Christmas cards to us. I won't read it. I will print it out the emails and put it in her stocking. Then, on Christmas morning, we will open up all the notes and read them. Feel free to share this request with your other friends and family and forward to your facebook contacts, but even if only a few of you do this, we will have a really beautiful thing to share on Christmas in our sweet baby's memory and someone else (the recipient of your kindness) will benefit by a true example of the spirit of Christmas. I will pray that all of us will be struck by inspiration, that something will come to each of us, some kindness that we can share of ourselves, in Shyla’s name and in her memory, to benefit someone else.
Thank you so much for your participation and your continued love and support,
Ben, Mattie and Ethan
For idea’s and inspiration for random acts of kindness, visit http://www.missfoundation.org/kindness/ideas.html
To read about how other moms remember their children spending Christmas with Jesus this year, visit Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace.